The world has been devastated by the news, and graphic online evidence, that yet another black man has died at the hands of the U.S. police force. Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was fatally shot by police outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday morning. Mobile phone footage soon emerged, showing Sterling was shot in the chest at point-blank range. The killing sparked ongoing protests that have seen chants of “black lives matter”, the BBC reported. Music artists were quick to express their outrage and sadness on social media. Drake addressed the killing in an open letter on Instagram, citing the “strained relationship” between U.S. police and “black and brown communities”. He wrote that watching a video of Sterling being shot left him “feeling disheartened, emotional and truly scared”. He wrote: “It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago. No one begins their life as a hashtag. Yet the trend of being reduced to one continues.”
Kanye West simply and poignantly tweeted Sterling’s name with a link to a graphic Instagram video of him being shot.
Rihanna shared a powerful video on Instagram of a mother talking about the killing while driving. “The Black Lives Matter movement has earned yet another hashtag,” the woman says, pointing to her children in the back. “They’re not hashtags.” Rihanna’s caption read: “RIP Alton Sterling #howmanymore.”
Meanwhile British singer Dev Hynes, who lives in New York, posted a plain black image with the words: “STOP KILLING US. I feel sick.” He added: “Every day is getting crazier.”